Pompei and such

Standard

The second day of our trip we went to the ruins of Pompei. We had a personal tour guide and we spent around four hours walking around and seeing the amazing ruins. For those of you who don’t know Pompei was a fairly large town with fortress walls, two watch towers and nearly 12,000 people. In 79 AD a nearby volcano, Vesuvius, started showing signs of eruption. By the time the volcano actually erupted, the entire city was evacuated except 3,000 who perished under 30ft of volcanic ash and pumice. Archaeologists began excavating around 1500 and now have excavated 2/3 of Pompei. The other 1/3 is waiting to be excavated for the future generations when there is hopefully better technology.

There were beautiful frescoes and mosaics, and also some stray dogs haha. On a side note, there were an oddly large amount of stray dogs, but they were incredibly sweet, well-behaved, and not aggressive at all! I have found most dogs, stray or not, to be extremely well behaved here, its an interesting observation I have made and one I enjoy because I will always choose petting a dog over anything.

After admiring a large part of Pompei, we left and headed to Naples to see the Archaeological museum where there were mosaic works from ancient civilizations and from Pompei as well. We did not stay in Naples for very long, honestly it is not the best place I’ve seen so far, I am glad I just stayed in the museum.

From Naples we headed to Sorrento where we would stay for the next few days….

Advertisements

Paestum

Standard
This past week, as a class we took a five day trip to the south of Italy, we left on Wednesday and returned yesterday evening. We left bright and early at 7:30 from Orvieto on a coach bus and arrived, after a few rest stops at Paestum around noon.
Paestum is very tiny and really the only thing to see are the ruins of a small town with a few temples dedicated to greek gods and goddesses. It was a really gorgeous day and the grass of the ruins was a brilliant green. Although nothing except the temples reached above me, I thought the ruins were amazing!
 
You could see the foundations of shops and homes and in some places the mosaic flooring was still there! There were so many wildflowers growing up and around these fallen structures. We had fun walking around and climbing over walls even though that wasn’t always allowed 🙂
 
The temples themselves were astounding, once again I was in the presence of something I have only seen in textbooks and my mind was blown!
 
We spent around four hours there and then we headed to Pompei……

Captain we have Wifi!

Standard

I am officially posting from my apartment! Hallelujah! Some of you might not know that since my roomates and I arrived at our apartemento, we have been sans wifi. This posed quite a few problems when it came to contacting our family getting emails related to school activities and coordinateing travel. Honestly, though we managed and I think we all benefited from not having it in the apartment because we were forced to do other things like read, write, draw etc. It is nice though not to have to pay for internet elsewhere though…

So Orvieto is feeling a lot more like home, I really love this town and we are starting to make friends with some locals and really getting into a routine. Everything almost seems better here, better food, better weather, better atmosphere….but I’m really an extended tourist so the glamour of it all might wear off but honestly Italy seems like a breath of fresh air.

Some things that have changed in my routine since I arrived are as follows”

Grocery shopping happens almost daily not just every two weeks

Why? I don’t have a jeep to carry everything. So I am limited to what I can carry.

         Things come in smaller amounts. No buying in bulk.

         Food is fresher which makes it all super delicious but doesn’t last as long.

         Also while I can buy produce and formaggio at the store it is so much better to buy at the market, which only happens on               thursdays and saturdays.

I am much more conscious of when I can get things and where I can get them

          Stores are typically open from 9/10-12/1 CLOSED from 1-4 and then open again from 5-8

          sometimes stores are just closed for no reason

          It’s actually really awesome that the “Siesta” time is built into daily life, everyone slows down from 1-4 which is so opposite from the 24hr/365 mentality in the U.S

          Stores are also a lot more specific, so I can’t just get everything on my list at one store, typically.

I eat dinner A LOT later

           Dinner at home was usually at 430 or 5.

           Dinner here is between 8 or 9

           Its not as big of an adjustment  as I thought but when you go to a restaurant at 7 and its closed, that takes some getting used too

 

 

This weekend we will be traveling to Florence for the day on Friday and then Rome for the weekend.

I am super excited and I can’t wait to share it all with you!!!

Oh and an early bday shout out to my dear friends Jordan Olson! I hope you are feeling 22 Vday Lady!!

 

 

 

Assisi

Standard

So this past friday we ventured on a field trip to Assisi! Assisi is another hill town about an hour and a half from Orvieto by bus. Since we did take the bus, that meant we had to get down to the bottom of the hill of Orvieto and then up again to get to Assisi. This requires multiple switchbacks and lots of twisting and turning……..

…..so after I got sick on the bus in front of everyone, thank the good lord for my roommates helping me get a bag and holding my hair, I felt a lot better and was thankfully on solid ground in beautiful Assisi.

The main attraction of Assisi is the Basilica of St,Francis. We spent three hours touring the basilica and listening to our professore Marco talk about every aspect of this church. It was a wonderful and profound experience to get to see the resting place of St. Francis and view all of the amazing arches and breathtaking frescoes in the basilica.

After the tour we had about three hours to wander Assisi and eat lunch before departing for Orvieto. My roommates and I wandered in and out of shops, bought some lovely postcards and decorated parchment, ate lots of sweets, and I bought motion sickness medicine for the way back so I wouldn’t have to enjoy those sweets a second time!

The sun was out and shining and added to the beauty of Assisi, it has been awhile since we have seen some actual sunshine, it rains a lot here.Allore

When we got back to Orvieto we ate some delicious dinner and went out to drink some wine and listen to some music. It turned out to be a really fun night, we met some Italians through our friend Riley who met them at the gym. It was quite the cultural experience conversing and listening and just hanging out with people other than Americans.

Speaking of interacting with Italians, we were blessed with some warm weather on Thursday so a group of us went to play soccer and ended up scrimmaging for two hours against some Italians, it was so much fun and we plan to meet up again next week if the weathers nice!

For more pictures you can check out my facebook!

Lots of love from Italia!

Rainy Day in Roma

Standard
We had our first field trip this past Friday in Rome! We took the train from Orvieto around 8am and got to the Rome terminal at around 8:45 or 9. There we met up with out tour guide who is also our history professor, Dr. Marco Checoranni. He is very knowledgeable and has so many wonderful things to say! We started at the Colosseo, and began our three hour walking tour. It sounds worse than it actually was, we all had radios with earbuds so we could hear Marco without him yelling, I thought it was a nice attribute to the tour. The downside to the day was that it poured ALL day, we were all just in a constant state of dampness. I did love Rome though,  it reminded me of New York except better because it is so rich with history!! You come out of the termini and you see the colosseo, you look to your left and there is a square mile of archaeological ruins, it is definitely overwhelming, but in a good way!
The Pantheon was probably my favorite part, it was so amazing and breathtaking to see it person, an experience that I can hardly put into words.
 
The trip to Rome is fairly inexpensive so we are hoping to make it back next weekend?? when it is not raining and we can enjoy more of the sites! Also our trip to Rome gave us a nice tutorial on how the train system works considering we missed our 7:00 train because we thought it was on track 2 but yet it was on 1 and we literally saw it leave the station without knowing it was our train. So then we waited until the next train which was at 10pm and didn’t make it back to Orvieto in time to take the bus up the hill, so we had the adventure of calling a taxi. It all worked out well in the end….
 
The next day I had a cooking class where I made some delicious food, and I had a wine tasting, molto bene! We collectively made two appetizers and a main course. We made and ate zucchini rollups with a ricotta, basil,and pine nut filling. Then we wrapped caramelized pears with a ricotta and walnut mixture in pancetta(bacon), deliciouso!!!! The main course was a soup with vegetables and speck which is a cross of rice and bean. It was a little spicy for me but everyone else loved it!
 
That evening we had tickets to the opera to see Don Giovanni….it was quite the experience. The costumes and the set designs were amazing and I liked them a lot! I probably would have enjoyed the opera, which was more like a play, more if I knew what they were saying haha. This rendition of Don Giovanni was a modern take on the story so it was definitely very European considering at  one point there was a naked man frolicking across the stage…it was a cultural experience for sure.